The first major personal injury claim brought against an employer for the use of asbestos occurred in the 1970s. By this point, many companies were aware of the risks associated with the inhalation of asbestos fibers and the lasting health impacts; and the use of asbestos was already in sharp decline. The peak of asbestos litigation occurred in the 1980s; and by 1991, over 100,000 asbestos cases were pending throughout American courts. While the use of asbestos was phased out decades ago, the implications of this exposure is often only now rearing its head in many former oil and gas workers. If you or a loved one are suffering from mesothelioma as a result of exposure to dangerous chemicals decades ago, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries.
While historically thought to be the result of prolonged exposure to shipyards and construction activities, mesothelioma can additionally occur in the oil and gas industry due to prolonged exposure to asbestos. Working on an oil rig involves the maintenance and building of equipment used in the oil and gas industry, which often involves exposure to asbestos fibers through sawing, cutting, and sanding. A 1994 report in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment, and Health observed the marked association between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma among workers in oil refineries in Italy. The typical duration of employment was close to 15 years, and most employees who contracted pleural mesothelioma were maintenance workers.
Asbestos is also found throughout older oil and gas sites, such as older refineries and buildings constructed decades ago. Maintenance to these buildings or fires caused by equipment malfunctions can quicken the spread of asbestos particles, leading to potential mesothelioma cases and other diseases.
The increased prevalence of mesothelioma claims over the last few decades resulted in a new type of court which was created to specifically handle claims related to ongoing asbestos exposure. The multi-district litigation court was enacted to handle the enormous caseload of the mesothelioma and corresponding asbestos cases. Unfortunately, workers exposed to asbestos often don’t develop symptoms of mesothelioma sometimes more than 30 years after exposure. A lot can occur in this 30-year period, including the dissolution of the responsible company or bankruptcy of the company. It is therefore important to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Malley Law Firm | Houston Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one were the victim of ongoing exposure to dangerous chemicals such as asbestos, leading to mesothelioma, do not hesitate to contact the Malley Law Firm. Companies have known for decades about the dangers of prolonged exposure to chemicals such as asbestos. The failure of these employers to take the necessary precautions to protect their workers can lead to life-threatening illnesses and reason to bring a claim for the resulting medical damages. Contact our Beaumont or Houston offices today for your initial free consultation.